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Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Gillian's Wonderland Pier- The calm before the Gale Force

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Oh, on the Carousel...that's actually not the real Flying Horse carousel at all! I know, the building claims it is, but the real Flying Horses carousel is nearby and is actually a children's ride; the horses "fly" because they're suspended on chains.

 

https://westerlylife.com/watch-hill-flying-horse-carousel/

 

That Herschell Carousel is an interesting one on its own; it's a bit of a frankenstein's monster. The base of it is the old Grand Carousel from Rocky Point Park, but the horses had already been sold off before Atlantic Beach bought it. They originally replaced them with some rather cheap modern metal ones, which...was a travesty, really, but switched back to classic horses later. Some of them were, I believe, recovered from the original Rocky Point carousel, some were from the original Atlantic Beach carousel. I THINK that carousel organ is also the one from Rocky Point; it at least looks like the one I remember from there, but less sure on that part. The building was from the original Atlantic Beach carousel; the one that Rocky Point's carousel was originally in was torn down, sadly.

 

for what's it's worth, the Historical site I have bookmarked (from the National Carousel Association) does list this particular Carousel as:

 

Atlantic Beach Park Westerly RI Herschell-Spillman 1915 CLA* (this classification means classic wooden carved animals)

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Steel Pier I had tried going to Steel Pier once before in 2017, but the park closed shortly before I arrived.  This is one of those parks that has a rolling closure depending on attendance.  So t

While I'm not the biggest fan of the ride, I can't deny it was a great add for a lot of smaller parks once it was introduced so it's neat to say I rode the first.

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^ ^ glad you had fun at Fun Spot!

 

the massive Go Kart Track was almost, but not quite, ready when I was there with TPR at the end of July.

 

surprised you didn't ride the Zip Line. .that was all kinds of WTF fun.

 

their website notes a Carousel, but I didn't see one when we were there. . have they installed one since (or did you notice one?).

 

I plan on going back next time I'm in Atlanta for the Karts, the Bumper Boats, and I really wanna play that mini golf. (Screaming Eagle was great too)

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^ I definitely would have ridden the Zip Line if it were open, but unfortunately it was down for the day. I rode it last year and enjoyed it, though it wasn't quite as good as the one at Fiesta Texas. Going atop that quarry wall and flying over Superman was really cool.

 

I can't recall a full-size carousel, but I think they had one of those 25 cent ones you often see outside supermarkets. I hope that's not what they're listing.

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FunXcess

 

I fully admit this was a credit stop, plain and simple. Whenever I travel to a park, I always punch it into RCDB to see if there are any other parks nearby. And while perusing the Atlanta area, I found some random place called FunXcess which had joined the SBF spinner craze that has swept the nation like dabbing.

 

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Enthusiasts only care about the leftmost item.

 

I'm guessing most are unfamiliar with FunXcess, but it's a one-year old indoor FEC much in the mold of a Jeepers. The place had a very weird feel. For one it was a ghost town. I know we jokingly all say that about Dorney, but you at least have 2-3 others in the station with you. This was even worse than Clementon Park. I was the only guest there. And it was a Friday night! Either it was a complete fluke or I wonder how long this place will be around.

 

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It was unnaturally quiet on a Friday night.

 

It was pretty pricey for one ride, but that's fair punishment for seeking out a ride whose targeted demographic is a third or my age. It took 5 minutes for an operator to come by (they were as sparse as guests), but eventually I boarded the Crazy 8 coaster who sported a sign as creepy as Coney Island’s Tickler. I was given 7 laps and it offered pretty decent spinning. I used to enjoy these more, but now they've become a bit too common. They're still a heck of a lot better than your garden variety wacky worm, but it no longer unique for me. 3 out of 10

 

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Is the second face the kid from Stuart Little?

 

Outside of the coaster, they had laser tag, go karts, arcade games, and a huge tarp covering the back wall. It's a pretty good collection for an indoor FEC, but the place just felt odd being as empty as it was. I hope they can liven up the place and attract larger crowds in the future, but as is, it's not a place I feel compelled to visit again.

 

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FunXcess is really spacious. That may have been part of the reason it felt so dead. That and the fact that it was dead.

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Holy sh*t. Let’s start a “We whored FunXcess” support group. Nice to see they covered up the empty back area and random scissor lift with a tarp. It really classes up the joint.

 

What a disaster. This place is probably going out of business like... tomorrow. They had a cool bar but even I decided I’d much rather just leave and never speak of this again.

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^ Yeah this could end up being a very rare credit unless they can find a way to get their act together and attract more people.

 

I left in favor of the Mellow Mushroom. Either the employees are really good at acting high or they were actually high. I mean what else would you expect from a place with mushroom in the name.

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^ the one in Austin couldn't make it, and closed here.

 

and they were super close to University of Texas!

 

yeah, that confused me too. . .

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Lake Winnepesaukah

 

Lake Winnepesaukah was a park that always intrigued me. When looking at the park’s setting and ride lineup, I couldn’t help but draw parallels to Canobie. Both parks have beautiful lakes as backdrops, some classic one-of-a-kind attractions, loads of spinning rides, dark rides, and classic out-and-back woodies (both with Cannonball in the name no less).

 

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Welcome to Lake Winnie because no one could spell Winnepesaukah correctly.

 

Since it was a Saturday and I had limited time before I was to meet up with a friend in Birmingham, I developed a plan of attack. I would knock out the low capacity Boat Chute and Wacky Factory, marathon the Cannon Ball, and then finish up with the remaining flats and credits. Anyone who plans knows nothing always goes as planned, but it was worth trying anyway. I was first in line when the gates opened at 10. And that was certainly a good thing since there was a company outing with a few thousand people.

 

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Protip- Ride the Boat Chute first unless you like long waits.

 

I was the first rider of the day on the Boat Chute and the operators noted how lucky I was not having to wait. That definitely reaffirmed my plan of attack, as did the full queue I saw no less than a half hour after opening. For those unfamiliar, the Boat Chute consists of a 2 minute long, slow, pitch black tunnel and a drop into the lake.

 

Being the only rider on the entire attraction was pretty creepy. The inside was dead silent. There were no screaming kids. There were no obnoxious teenagers. There was nothing. Just the sounds of the ride. The boats traveled so slowly that you couldn’t hear more than a faint trickle of the water. But then this would be juxtaposed with a loud pang of metal as the boat ricocheted off the side of the trough. After what seems like eternity, you re-enter the light and are greeted by the pitter patter of the lift.

 

Off-ride, the final plunge doesn’t look like much. The slope is so gradual that it could probably be classified as ADA compliant. On-ride, it was plenty freaky considering the sheer age of the attraction and the fact that it spits you out into the lake. The splashdown into the lake was very reminiscent of those European boat chutes, especially since the boat bobs up and down once hitting the water. Lake Winnie may have better attractions, but this is definitely the park’s crown jewel and most unique. 8 out of 10

 

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Off-ride the drop doesn't look like much. But it's pretty darn terrifying on-ride considering this ride's age.

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The splashdown bounces along the water like an Arrow HydroFlume.

 

Next I walked right onto the Wacky Factory. And it was appropriately wacky! The beginning has some psychedelic effects straight out of an acid trip. Later, the track itself becomes wacky as it randomly bobs up and down. Then the finale is a gradual, yet speedy, downward slope that actually dishes out some laterals. Outside of one very screwed up jump scare, it’s not particularly scary. It’s just a complete mind bender that succeeds in making you feel uneasy for the duration of the ride. 8 out of 10

 

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I love when classic parks have a dark ride. And a solid one too!

 

As I approached the Cannon Ball, something seemed off. It seemed quiet, too quiet. An employee stationed by the entrance confirmed my fears that the Cannon Ball wasn’t quite ready, but that it would open shortly. Noticing that the front of the park was rapidly filling up, I backtracked to hit Wild Lightnin’.

 

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Oh no, the Cannon Ball wasn't quite ready. Oh-Zone it is.

 

Wild is an understatement. The first half offers some great views of Lake Winnie and seems like your normal mouse. But then the second half happens and the ride genuinely tries to kill you. Whereas most wild mice have trim brakes, Wild Lightnin’ has no such things. The result are some of the most extreme laterals of any coaster out there.

 

Since I was riding alone, I was able to brace myself against the opposite side of the vehicle. Others probably weren’t as fortunate. It wasn’t uncommon to hear screams of pain emanating from this coaster. With the added speed, I was shocked there wasn’t any air in the second half. I’m torn about Wild Lightnin’. On one hand, I’d hate to penalize a ride for being intense. But in some ways, this may be a bit too much since you really need to brace yourself against its wrath. 5 out of 10

 

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Don't be fooled. Wild Lightnin' is a mouse with attitude.

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Some would call these laterals painful. Ask the girls in the front row.

 

Cannon Ball still wasn’t quite ready, so I proceeded to Oh-Zone, the park’s Larson drop tower. I figured the ride would give some excellent views of the park and I was spot on there. But as an added bonus, I was treated to a nice view of the Smoky Mountains in the distance. It was so easy to get lost in the splendor of the area and then it faded away in a flash.

 

No matter how many times I ride these Larson towers, the drop always gets me. It’s a truly terrifying drop with sustained airtime the whole way down. There are larger towers out there, but none can top a Larson in raw power. A supervisor was training a new operator, so I did my part and rode this a few times in a row so they could cycle through the whole process. 10 out of 10

 

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That guy appears worried. I'd say it looks worse than it really is, but this is a Larson tower. His fear is warranted.

 

How have I not heard about Conestoga? This flying carpet was insane! I’ve gotten some modest air on other versions of this ride, but nothing reaching the levels of Conestoga. I wasn’t expecting much when I saw that I had a foot of space between myself and the lap bar, but it was out-of-control. On the full rotations, I was catapulted from my seat and suspended in midair and then forcefully slammed forwards. It was glorious.

 

The only problem was that the ride only offered three full-speed rotations. The airtime was so good that I wanted more. So I rode it three consecutive times until the ride closed. Unfortunately someone couldn’t handle the intense airtime and decorated the gondola with half-digested Denny’s pancakes. I saw them cleaning the ride, but it never reopened. This ride was perfect other than the short length. 9.5 out of 10

 

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Why does no one talk about the airtime on this thing? It was insane.

 

I noticed two employees walking the final bunny hill of Cannon Ball, so I was optimistic the wooden coaster was about to open. They sent around a test train and the employee admitted me into line. When the train returned, there was a problem. Only the front car’s lap bars would raise. Maintenance was called and it was apparent it wouldn’t be a quick fix, so they cleared out the line.

 

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The buzz bars weren't cooperating.

 

I wasn’t going to be denied a coaster ride, so I shamefully walked right onto the Wacky Worm. Even by wacky worm standards, it seemed to be on the slow side. 2 out of 10

 

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If you go behind the Wacky Factory, you'll fittingly find a Wacky Worm.

 

I hopped aboard the Alpine Way sky ride and could really appreciate the park’s beauty. The sky ride travels over the entirely of the lake and offers some great shots of the Boat Chute in particular. Lake Winnie really is a photogenic park. I do wish the sky ride had a second station on the opposite side of the lake, but other than that, it was a really good sky ride. 8 out of 10

 

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Lake Winnie really is a beautiful park.

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The sky ride provided some great photo ops.

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The lake is a fantastic centerpiece.

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This shot is far more artsy than I intended.

 

I grabbed a few extra rides on Oh-Zone and then discovered some sad news. The rare Fly-O-Plane was gone. For 2018, the park reintroduced the Genie round-up, but it was at the expense of the Fly-O-Plane. What a bummer since a trinity of Oh-Zone, Conestoga, and Fly-O-Plane would rank among collections of flat rides out there. They also had some funky looking top scan towards the front of the park, but Twister was down for the day.

 

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A Twister wasn't in the forecast.

 

Genie was a larger round-up and had a cool, multi-colored paint scheme. It wasn’t run as fast as others and only reached a max angle of ~ 60 degrees, but round-ups are still one of the stronger flats out there. 6 out of 10

 

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I made a wish that Cannon Ball would open.

 

Orbiter is next door and that’s the ride spinning ride junkies need to check out. This may be the fastest operated Orbiter I’ve ridden and the whip was pretty impressive. Like Conestoga, it did have a short cycle but I’m guessing that’s for a reason since quite a few riders looked green in the face. 8 out of 10

 

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Admittedly I was stalling until the Cannon Ball opened. I wasn't letting that woodie out of my sight.

 

But then there was life over by Cannon Ball. It appeared they had successfully raised all but two lap bars, so they were preparing to send out a test train. A golf cart had been parked in front of the main entrance, but I stationed myself directly behind it, anticipating the coaster would soon open. After 2-3 successful test runs, maintenance moved the cart and the operators beckoned us towards the station.

 

The reason I wanted to be first in line is because seating is on a first-come basis and I really wanted to secure at least one front row ride. The Yankee Cannonball has the exact same loading procedure and even though I’ve ridden that coaster hundreds of times, I probably haven’t been in the front row more than 10 times. As the operator checked my buzz bar, he noticed my Yankee Cannonball shirt and was shocked. “I didn’t know there was another Cannon Ball out there. I thought this was the only one.”

 

The first bunny hill had some excellent and bouncy airtime. I was excited that it would be a non-stop, airtime filled experience. The next few hills were relative duds, but I was treated to a little pop on the far turnaround. The return leg was a bit better as there were two bunny hills with solid pops of air and a very strong burst of air entering the brake run.

 

The line had already reached a half hour in length, but I happily waited in the hopes of a backseat ride. That wasn’t possible since the back row wasn’t cooperating, but I was fortunate enough to receive the second to back. Outside of some nice air on the first drop, I thought the front provided superior airtime.

 

The operator excitedly asked if his Cannon Ball was better than Canobie’s. I had to say yes to him, but honestly I’d take Canobie’s ever so slightly. Both are incredibly well-maintained classics, but I think the Yankee Cannonball’s airtime moments are stronger. I also may be a bit biased I certainly am glad the Cannon Ball opened since it’s a solid wooden coaster that is perfect for an old-time park like Lake Winnie. 7 out of 10

 

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Eureka, it's open.

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Buzz bars + Bunny hills = Good airtime

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It's surprisingly hard to photograph anything other than the ride's lift hill and station.

 

I wish I had more time at Lake Winnie to rack up additional rides on Cannon Ball, Boat Chute, Wacky Factory, and the flat rides, but my visit was capped at three hours. Lake Winnie is everything that a classic park should be. It has a great atmosphere, a beautiful setting, a fun wooden coaster, and a strong supporting cast with two of the best flat rides out there.

 

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Also is this the park owner? She was driving around talking to all the employees.

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Great report! I didn't know too much about Lake Winnie before this, but it looks like a gem. Wish there were more parks like it around the country.

 

Thanks! It really had that old, classic park feel and it's definitely worth a side trip if you are near Dollywood or Six Flags Over Georgia. It's ~2 hours from both parks.

 

I think Conestoga was in pieces during both of my visits, I never rode it. I love flying carpet rides.

 

That's a bummer. Did you get to ride it in its former life at Hershey at least?

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I took my first visit to Lake Winnie this year and have to say I really enjoyed the park. We were mostly there for the boat shoot, cannonball, drop tower, and the dark ride so that's about all we did. I agree with everything you said about all those though. I'm a coasterbill in training, meaning I love love love log flumes so boat shoot was the highlight of the park for me. It was so cool riding such an old ride that was similar to something my grandma rode as a a teenager here at Euclid Beach in Cleveland Ohio, which is a park and ride I've heard a ton about from my family.

 

I also agree with your opinions on both cannonballs. Both are incredibly well maintained but Canobie's is just slightly better. Maybe the fact it's older helps me rank it higher but Lake Winnie's is still a great ride.

 

Anywho, great report. I always get excited when I see there's a new update.

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Awesome! Lake Winnie really is a good park. Good move going to the boat chute first. I had the same experience with Cannon Ball; apparently it's fairly normal for it to open later than the other rides.

 

When I was there last year, the Fly o Plane never opened at all, and had been closed for some time. Not surprised it was removed. Genie is a decent replacement, certainly less unique but fits the park well.

 

And yeah. Conestoga. Holy sh*t. I think that ride has ruined all flying carpets for me. Knoebel's 1001 Nachts is really great, but Conestoga eats it for lunch.

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Thanks!

 

That makes sense the Cannon Ball often opens late considering I saw them doing a track walk during the park's first operating hour. The buzz bar issues weren't something they expected though. It's odd they wouldn't open their star attraction right at opening considering everything else around it opens right away.

 

This is one of the rare times Knoebels has been outdone on a flat. 1001 Nachts is a pretty poor version of a flying carpet in my opinion due to those restraints. Ouch!

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Alabama Splash Adventure

I planned to meet up with a longtime friend in Birmingham. Originally the plan was to hit Alabama Splash Adventure together, but that plan changed in favor of the more mainstream tourist activities in the area. However, I wasn’t going to miss out on an acclaimed CCI wooden coaster, so I made a pit stop on the way.

 

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It was hot. It was humid. But I wasn't here for the water park.

 

With limited time, I was hopeful the ride side wouldn’t be too crowded. I knew Labor Day weekend would be a boon on crowds, but the weather was on my side as the almost 100 degree weather kept 80% of guests on the water side. The ride side was far from deserted. But I didn’t have to wait more than 2-3 trains for the coasters.

 

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Most people were on the water side and I don't blame them one bit.

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I've never seen an aquatic ropes course before. What a cool concept!

 

Three things immediately jumped out at me within 5 minutes of being in the park. One, the staff was incredibly friendly. I attribute that directly to ownership by the Koch family. Two, the park was very bright and vibrant. Not only did the rides and buildings all seem to have fresh coats of paints, but the color choices were designed to really stand out. Take three of their new-for-2018 rides as an example. Three, the park found a creative way to salvage defunct attractions. They’ve scattered these vehicles throughout the park to serve as kid-friendly benches. Awesome idea!

 

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Rather than let some of the old rides rot, they re-purposed them as random seats throughout the park.

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Like La Ronde, Alabama Splash Adventure also added a new-for-2018 Tilt-a-Whirl.

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But unlike La Ronde, they actually delivered all the new attractions they promised. Here's the Yo-Yo.

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This may be the brightest scrambler out there. Also a new for 2018 addition.

 

My first stop was undoubtedly going to be Rampage. Most of the dry rides are targeted towards younger riders, but Rampage is the big exception. You can’t really see the coaster until you approach it due to all the park’s trees, but the roar can be heard throughout the park. Then once you see Rampage, it looks really imposing since it’s situated on a hillside in the back of the park.

 

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Two roads diverged on a Main Street. And sorry I could not travel both. And be one traveler, long I stood. And looked down at Rampage and went that way.

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Rampage absolutely towers over everything on the ride side.

 

For my first ride, I rode in the front row next to a gentleman working with the park to film some POVs for YouTube. After a 5 minute delay and the application of an entire roll’s worth of tape, we were off and the coaster was good. Though I’m not going to lie, I was slightly let down. The first half was the perfect balance of laterals and airtime, but the second half (while fast) was considerably tamer and missing air.

 

I then tried Rampage in the back and it was a whole different animal. It was completely untamed back there. That first drop is incredible. The airtime was as strong as Raven’s 5th drop. But without stopping, Rampage zooms around a minimally banked, low-to-the-ground turn that dishes out some powerful laterals. It’s remarkable how smooth this maneuver is considering how aggressive it is.

 

The following camelback delivered strong sustained airtime much like it did in the front row. That’s followed by a decent turnaround mixing some mild laterals and a nice pop of air. The next hill’s slope offered a solid pop in the front, but the slope was too gradual to offer any air for back row riders. It’s ok because the following turnaround has an incredibly abrupt pullout and absolutely slams riders to the side of the train. Then there’s another awesome, air-time filled camelback and I discovered why Rampage is a back row coaster.

 

The final two turnarounds don’t offer any air in the back, but the two drops off of them are very steep and offer outstanding ejector air for back row riders. When we hit the brakes after my front row ride, I was content. When we hit the brakes after such a wild back row ride, I was amped up. So much so that I forgot about that sneaky drop after the brake run. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s another nice moment of laterals.

 

Rampage really is a great wooden coaster. I went in expecting an airtime heavy out-and-back coaster, but instead I was treated to a masterful blend of airtime and laterals. Maybe I would have appreciated a follow-up ride in the front row more, but I couldn’t pull myself away from the back row. 9 out of 10

 

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Rampage's first drop is awesome, particularly in the back row.

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Rampage is everything that CCI did right. It's a great mix of airtime and laterals.

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It's one wild ride. Hence the chains.

 

After a mini Rampage marathon, I hit Centi-SPEED on the way out. Having ridden Lake Winnie’s dull Wacky Worm earlier in the day, I was expecting another snoozefest. But something was different about this one. It actually had some speed. So much so, that the final turn had laterals rivaling those of Rampage. There were only two laps and it didn’t do much else, but still that was a surprisingly good moment on a kid’s coaster. 4 out of 10

 

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Centi-SPEED. Speed is in all caps because of the blistering 10mph top speed.

 

I wish I had another hour at Alabama Splash Adventure to get a few more rides on Rampage. That really is the only reason for coaster enthusiasts to visit this park. The park seems to be expanding at a calculated and measured pace, so I’m excited to see what comes to this park in the future. They have the star attraction, the infrastructure, and the service, they just need more attractions on the dry side.

 

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Thank you for saving Rampage.

 

Alabama Splash Adventure is only 15-20 minutes from Birmingham, so you can easily explore Alabama’s largest city. We didn’t want to stay out after sunset, but we did have enough time to see the world’s largest cast iron statue, the Kelly Ingram Park celebrating the civil rights movement, and grab some delicious fried chicken. Unfortunately Sloss Furnaces closed ridiculously early, but that’s something I can look forward to in a future visit.

 

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When I heard it was a Vulcan, I was hoping it'd be Spock.

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The park was surprisingly empty for a Saturday.

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